A Word About Impressions to AirsoftersWhat makes WWII Airsoft different than regular airsoft? Obviously the uniform and kit you wear. Getting this all together can be one of the most fun, frustrating, interesting, and financially stressing activities involved. Good and bad? Yep.
The good is that you don't have to settle for plain old US woodland camo anymore. You can pick up web gear, uniforms, helmets (yes you wear helmets) and other assorted items you had no idea existed. You'll start collecting stuff that you hadn't seen since you rummaged through your grandfather's old footlocker when you were a kid. Re-Enactors are very dedicated (read anal) about the way they look. Down to the stitch used on their pants, and I'm not kidding here. Once you start gathering your new WWII stuff, you'll be amazed at the detail and it makes that woodland camo and Blackhawk Crossdraw Vest look just plain and uninteresting.
The bad? It's expensive. Especially if you decide to buy it all at once. Generally, the US stuff is cheaper than the German stuff. Expect to pay around $600 for a full US uniform and web gear set. Also, while there are a number of very good vendors, there is no one stop shop for EVERYTHING that you need. You might find the uniform and web gear at one place, but no shoes or helmet. That's where this site comes in. We'll do the leg work for you and point you to the vendors we've used and like. How to Get Started
Pick a unit or if one does not exist, pick a nationality. The good thing about a WWII Impression is that all the details are very well documented. If you decide on 101st ABN in Normandy, you can be pretty sure that by following several web resources, your impression will fit in fine with any 101st unit around. But the safest way is to approach a unit in this association and ask to become a member. They will give you the uniform and kit requirements, as well as assigning you a rank and position inside that unit. They'll also guide you on what and where you should get all your stuff. Again, this association is just starting, you don't need to buy everything all at once. There will be guys out there with everything down to the right kind of can opener in their pocket, but you don't need to be that prepared to play. Check out the Skirmishes Page to see the varying levels Impression gear needed on the field. Nationalities and Units
This is a personal choice. Were you fascinated by "Band of Brothers"? Then go 101st. "Saving Private Ryan"? 2d Rangers is for you. Have a soft spot for the Germans? Maybe 2d Panzers. UK, Australian, Japanese, whatever. You decide. But be wary of the fact that no 101st trooper ever fought in the Pacific, so if you pick a Japanese impression, once we start getting into the restricted skirmishes, you won't be able to play. I safe bet is to pick a ETO (European Theater of Operation) Impression. D-Day saw just about everyone mixed together so one of the first skirmishes we do will be based on D-Day. As the association grows, we'll tighten up the force on force requirements of units and nationalities.
Obviously, the two most popular impressions are US and German, though you can pick whatever interets you the most. Be aware, however, US and German uniforms and equipment are the most easily found, followed by UK and Japanese items. Not all the nationalities listed below contain information. Space is set aside for a later date if someone deisires to contribute their wisdom in that particular nationality. If you have a burning desire to portray a nationality not listed (i.e. the Australians), feel free. Once you have sufficient information to contribute, that nationaliry will be added to this web site.
To find out more information on each unit and nationality, select them from below
Without a doubt, the easiest, and cheapest way to get into WWII kit is by choosing a US Impression. Just about any equipment, uniform, or weapon is available in either original or replica. This page will link you to several US Impressions, from a very cost effective infantry impression, to an airborne impression, and finally a ranger impression. Unit Types
Up to and including D-Day, the US utilized several specialized uniforms across its ground force (just before Market Garden the Army began standardizing across the theater). The most distinct difference was between the airborne and traditional ground troops. To keep things simple we won't talk about the tankers or marines right now. Variations within airborne divisions and infantry specializations were also present, but are less distinct and boil down to particular pieces of gear or uniform construction. US Impression on the Cheap
Finally, if you want to start slow, or are lacking the funds to go hog wild on an all correct impression, Sam has put together some tips on how to buiid a decent one for about $150. Be sure to join out MEssage board for advice and information with getting your kit together.. Make sure you are familiar with the Skirmish types if you plan on going this route. While this is fine to get you started, as the association grows, this type of impression will become less useful. For a little more money, you can pick up fully authentic repros and look 100% the part.